After the flu and a rough start, we’ve finally got a good groove going. We’re still making adjustments along the way, but I must say I’ve been very encouraged overall.
One of my greatest concerns this year was having three kids going three different directions. Could I coordinate it all? I know there are mothers who homeschool 7 or 8 and all in different grades and accomplish it just fine. But could I? I was a little nervous about it.
Obviously, everything is still pretty new and exciting to everyone, but here are a few things we’ve done that have really helped to pull things together for us.
First, we start together. We begin with prayer, the pledge and national anthem, some fun rhythm and silly song activities, calendar time, and our memory work (a poem and a Scripture verse). Then, we have Bible time together, using our Tapestry of Grace materials.
After about a half hour together, we split ways. Oldest starts the day with his Reflex Math, and Middlest begins with me. (Littlest starts in the floor and usually ends up in my lap.)
Middlest’s favorite subject is math, so we begin there. She’s working on identifying numbers up to 20, counting to 100, skip counting by 10, and some basic addition. We work together through her activities and flashcards before moving on to reading. For reading, we’ve transitioned with a read-aloud; she picks the story. After I read, she “reads” to me.
We’ve been having a lot of fun with the “Funny Words” activity from Confessions of a Homeschooler. It gives her all of the same practice as her blend flashcards, and she works through them much more willingly. She is getting really good at deciphering her three letter words.
I also have her practice reading one of her little readers from A Beka. She’s not very confident yet, and thus, not always very willing to read to me. BUT, she eagerly reads to Littlest, so that’s my tactic. Any time I sense hesitation to read to me, I suggest that she reads to him. The last thing I want is to associate reading with something she dreads. At her age, I definitely want school to be fun; it can be hard work, but I want it to be hard work she enjoys or that is rewarding for her.
All of this takes us roughly 30 to 45 min. Oldest usually finishes his computer math in about 15 to 20 min. and then begins on his worksheets. When I’ve finished with Middlest, I set her to work on a worksheet and then move her to the computer. Littlest grabs a mid-morning snack while Oldest finishes up his independent work. Then, after I put Littlest down for a nap, I do a speed drill with Oldest and finish his math “classwork” with him (using A Beka). Next is his language arts: phonics cards and language arts concepts; reading assignment; and spelling words. This takes us another 30 to 45 min.
By around 11 a.m., we are ready to begin our Tapestry activities: map work, read-alouds, art and crafts, etc. We wrap it up at about noon and break for lunch.
So that’s our new groove! I can’t tell you how relieved I am that everything is meshing together as smoothly as it is right now. I know every day won’t be smooth sailing (I’m bracing myself for the upcoming storms!), but at least this first success has given me the confidence I needed to meet the obstacles we’ll face later this year.
How have your first few weeks been, and what have they taught you?